Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Banana-Date Flaxseed Bread

Like a lot of people, I could probably eat banana bread for breakfast on the regular.  Plain, toasted with a little butter, topped with peanut butter, it's all good to me.  But also like a lot of people, I really shouldn't eat banana bread for breakfast on the regular.  That's where this banana-date flaxseed bread comes in.

Is it every bit as sweet and cakey (because let's be honest--banana bread is very nearly cake) as the banana bread you grew up with?  Nope.  But it is a whole lot less bad for you.  The granulated sugar is drastically cut, with some of the sweetness being replaced by the dates.  In addition, some of the flour is replaced by flax meal, which gives the bread a deeper, nuttier flavor and brings in a whole host of nutritional benefits such as being rich in fiber and omega-3s, aiding digestion, and showing promising effects on lowering cholesterol, fighting diabetes, and combatting cancer.  

Flaxseeds, particularly when ground into flax meal, are wonderful for skin and hair health, which is why I first started incorporating them into my diet several years ago.  An esthetician mentioned it to me during an outstanding, informative facial.  I went home, started stirring flax meal into my yogurt, oatmeal, granola, and many baked goods.  I will say, after a lifetime of struggling with my skin--particularly while living in Phoenix's arid desert climate--I could definitely see an improvement in elasticity.  I'm not a certified expert in any of this, but I can offer my testimony.

Plus, if that testimony means you get to have banana bread for breakfast, why would you argue?


banana date flax bread

This banana-date flaxseed bread ups the fiber and omega-3s for a breakfast treat you can feel good serving yourself and your family.   

Banana-Date Flaxseed Bread
adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

Ingredients:
2/3 c. mashed ripe banana
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. flax meal (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/4 c. flaxseeds
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whole pitted dates, chopped

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Prepare a standard-sized loaf pan by coating with oil and a light dusting of flour or spraying generously with baking spray.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat banana, sugar, oil, and eggs at medium speed until well blended.

3.  Combine flour, flax meal, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Gradually add to banana mixture, beating until fully blended.  Add in chopped dates.

4.  Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake 50-55 minutes, testing by inserting a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the pan.  Cool ten minutes on a wire rack, then turn out of pan and cool completely.

Yield: 1 loaf  
  

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